DLC Quest and Lair of the Evildoer

The latest Indie Royale bundle is The St. Patricks Day Bundle: pay what you want for five games: Hard Reset, Jolly Rover, Vertex Dispenser, DLC Quest and Lair of the Evildoer!  Hard Reset, Jolly Rover and Vertex Dispenser came with Steam keys, while DLC Quest and Lair of the Evildoer were available through Desura or via download.

I played Going Loud Studios‘ DLC Quest first, a platform action game which takes a rather amusing swipe at the games industry and the increasing use of DLC, as well as gamers’ fears that we’re being exploited by DLC.

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The Little Big Bunch

The latest in the line of indie bundles arrived today: the Little Big Bunch, with five indie games on the usual pay what you want scheme, with money being split between developers and Games Aid as you wish.

This one has a minimum price.. something I’m glad of after seeing a guy taunting one of the indie devs on Twitter this afternoon.  He was bragging about only having paid 1 cent for the game.. less than a penny.. which would have been bad enough without the taunting!

I already owned one of the games: Mode 7‘s strategy game Frozen Synapse, so this one is going to Tim, and maybe we’ll get to play together at some point 😉

Also in the bundle are two platformers, one with destruction: Explodemon, by Curve Studios, and one with aliens: Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee.  Finally there’s New Star Soccer 5, a football career sim, by New Star Games.. which isn’t really my type of game.  The one I’m most interested in here is 2d platform shooter Serious Sam Double D, from Mommy’s Best Games, and supported by Croteam through their Serious Sam Indie series.

Serious Sam Double D is via Steam code, while the rest of the games are available via Get Games‘ download system.  I have to say I much prefer Steam, knowing that I can download the games as many times as I want, and that updates will be applied as they appear.  Get Games’ FAQ says that the number of activations per game vary between publishers.. while I don’t mind if I lose a cheap indie game after a couple of reinstalls, I’d be wary of buying anything I forsee playing over and over again.

Blocks That Matter

Blocks That Matter is a platform puzzle game by Swing Swing Submarine, featuring a tiny robot, blocks and puzzles.. another game with blocks?  Minecraft really has set the trend.. 🙂

The adventure mode is called The Underground Rescue, and it starts with the story of Indie Game Devs in Trouble.  A pair of indie developers have been working on a secret project which their fans have been anticipating just a little too much.. they decide they don’t want to wait any more..

The devs are kidnapped and held hostage with instructions to complete their game overnight.. however, their secret project isn’t a game but a little robot, the Tetrobot, which is sitting de-activated in their office.  To help them, you need to get him up and running!

In the first level, you are only able to collect blocks by bashing into them with your head.  Once you have collected four blocks, the first upgrade station unlocks; going into it awards you the first upgrade.. the drill!

The drill allows collection of more blocks.. sand, wood and stone at this point, more types to come in later levels.

Your next upgrade teaches you to combine your blocks into Tetrominos, Tetris-blocks which you use to help you jump up to other parts of the map to gather other blocks, reach more upgrade points, or get to the exit portal.

Each portal moves you a little bit closer to the devs!

There are also a few enemies.. slimes!  The small ones can be jumped easily.. contact with them more than once will result in them triggering your nanoreset, and you start the level again.  You can trigger this yourself if stuck by holding down the W key: the first time you do this you get an achievement: Someone did it wrong!

The big one, though..

She chased me through one level.. a frantic dash for the exit portal, broken up by entering puzzle mode to create tetromino stairs and platforms to jump gaps.  Maybe she was mad with me because I killed some of the smaller slimes by dropping blocks on them 😉

Sand falls if there is nothing supporting it, so if you drill out the block underneath it, or explode a row of eight blocks, and the sand will fall onto whatever is underneath.  This can be used to kill slimes, to provide a step to climb on, or used in the construction of a tetromino where you don’t want all four blocks to stay put.. all depending on the puzzle you’re trying to solve.

I can see the game getting frustrating later, as any mistakes are punished with the need to nanoreset, and return to the start of the level.

In addition to the Adventure Mode, there is a set of chocolate-themed bonus levels, from the Chocolate Update.. starting with Chocolate Rain.  Many blocks have been switched out for chocolate, and the puzzles here involve having the chocolate blob enemies blow up the blocks 🙂

I found myself stuck after only a few levels, though..  I think I’ll come back to this after the main game!

While checking over the game’s website, I saw that Swing Swing Submarine have another game in the works: Seasons After Fall.  I actually noticed this game thanks to the early artwork, featuring a cute little fox sleeping under a tree..


Image by Djaoul..

Seasons After Fall will be more of a discovery-based puzzle game where you explore the countryside taking advantage of the changing seasons.  It looks as though this was meant to be out in 2011, but they now say it will be done when it’s done.. which at least means they’re concentrating on getting a properly working product together, rather than shipping something out full of bugs.. plus points to them!

The Humble Voxatron Debut

I picked up the Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle at the end of September, paying a rather small figure for a number of rather cool indie games.

The latest Humble Bundle is now out: the Humble Voxatron Debut!
As usual, it’s “pay what you want”,though if you want more than the headline game you need to beat the average paid to date.. an absolute bargain right now, as it’s still under a fiver 🙂

The headline game is an alpha of Lexaloffle’s Voxatron, a “voxel-based, old-school-gone-new platform shooter”, where you explore a world made of destructible blocks; it also comes with a voxel designer and level mapping tools, and the ability to share them with your friends!  I wonder if this will be as addictive as Minecraft.. one to explore this weekend, I think!

Also included in the Bundle are the creepy-looking dungeon explorer The Binding of Isaac, by the developers of the equally squicky Super Meat Boy, and puzzle-platform Blocks That Matter by Swing Swing Submarine.

Blocks That Matter sees you play a tiny robot called the Tetrobot, drilling blocks and recombining the materials into other blocks.. it sounds intriguing, but having installed it on my PC at work, I was unable to get it running due to some resolution issue.  I’ll be trying this one at home on the Beast instead 🙂

As for The Binding of Isaac.. I saw this advertised on Steam a while ago, and was repelled by the image of a crying boy surrounded by mutants.. however, I’m not going to let that stop me trying the game out.. that would be silly!